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Best Route From Vancouver BC to Bend OR

TKW
Explorer
Explorer
I'm planning a trip to Bend OR in June. Goggle map suggests 3 alternatives:

  1. Take I5 to near Portland, then I205 and east on I84, south on US26 at Wood Village to Bend
  2. Take I5 to Salem, east on US22 to Bend
  3. Take I5 to Seattle, east on I90, south on I82 pass Yakima & south on US97 to Bend.

    Pulling a 8k# TT, I would like to avoid steep grades as much as I can. I would also try to miss rush hours in major cities. Can anybody tell me which is the best route.
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    17 REPLIES 17

    enblethen
    Nomad
    Nomad
    Maupin has several sharp turns and narrow streets.
    Nothing realy to be concerned about at low speed limit.

    Bud
    USAF Retired
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    Tom_Barb
    Explorer
    Explorer
    paulj wrote:
    No one notices the grade and 25 mph curve climbing in and out of the Deschutes Canyon at Maupin?


    25 miles per because it is in the village?

    yes it is a big sweeping switchback. WoW That's gotta scare the hell out of every body.

    Look at it on Google maps.
    2000 Newmar mountain aire 4081 DP, ISC/350 Allison 6 speed, Wrangler JL toad.

    paulj
    Explorer II
    Explorer II
    No one notices the grade and 25 mph curve climbing in and out of the Deschutes Canyon at Maupin?

    Tom_Barb
    Explorer
    Explorer
    PNW_Steve wrote:
    Opinions vary 🙂

    I have driven those routes a fair bit over the last 35+ years.

    I hate driving what another poster called "the gauntlet". I avoid the Seattle area as much as I can.

    But, I would take the I-5 route before Hey 2 & 97. Especially towing.

    If you time it right you have a fair shot at missing the worst of the traffic.

    No manner of planning will straighten out the curves in Hey 97 🙂


    At some point you must cross the mountains, to get to Bend, easiest way is I-84, 197, 97
    197 and 97 doesn't have any curves that anyone would notice.
    2000 Newmar mountain aire 4081 DP, ISC/350 Allison 6 speed, Wrangler JL toad.

    PNW_Steve
    Explorer
    Explorer
    Opinions vary 🙂

    I have driven those routes a fair bit over the last 35+ years.

    I hate driving what another poster called "the gauntlet". I avoid the Seattle area as much as I can.

    But, I would take the I-5 route before Hey 2 & 97. Especially towing.

    If you time it right you have a fair shot at missing the worst of the traffic.

    No manner of planning will straighten out the curves in Hey 97 🙂
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    ppine
    Explorer II
    Explorer II
    I travel to Seattle every year. The traffic is terrible. Try to drive through there on a weekend or mid day. Avoid rush hour and especially Friday afternoons. I would recommend either taking Snoqualmie Pass and heading south crossing the Columbia R at Goldendale. Go through the Yakima Res. Take Route 97 to Bend.

    If you are willing to drive through Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, then you could head east at Portland and go through the Columbia Gorge to Route 97 and south. Everyone loves the Gorge.

    Tom_Barb
    Explorer
    Explorer
    TKW wrote:
    Tom/Barb wrote:
    Flattest route, I-5 south to I-84 east 197 and 97 south.
    Simply time your travels thru Seattle.


    That's what I lean towards. Between steep grades and traffic congestion, I'd rather fight the traffic then driving with one eye on the temperature gauge.

    Last September I pull through Siskiyou Summit on I5 on a 90F+ day and barely survived. My transmission was at the verge of overheating. On the same trip, I rubbed shoulders with LA commuters for a few days, Seattle traffic is nothing to it comparing to LA.


    Even with that route, you must climb up on the eastern Or Plateau, I-84 is in the Columbia River valley. taking 197 south there is a climb up and out of the valley.

    I don't recall how big the climb is.
    2000 Newmar mountain aire 4081 DP, ISC/350 Allison 6 speed, Wrangler JL toad.

    enblethen
    Nomad
    Nomad
    North end of Vancouver, WA, take I-205 south to I-84. Misses downtown Portland I-5 traffic

    Bud
    USAF Retired
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    2003 Chev Ice Road Tracker

    TKW
    Explorer
    Explorer
    Tom/Barb wrote:
    Flattest route, I-5 south to I-84 east 197 and 97 south.
    Simply time your travels thru Seattle.


    That's what I lean towards. Between steep grades and traffic congestion, I'd rather fight the traffic then driving with one eye on the temperature gauge.

    Last September I pull through Siskiyou Summit on I5 on a 90F+ day and barely survived. My transmission was at the verge of overheating. On the same trip, I rubbed shoulders with LA commuters for a few days, Seattle traffic is nothing to it comparing to LA.
    2002 Chevy 1500HD Crew Cab, 6.0l
    2013 Timber Ridge 240RBS
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    Tom_Barb
    Explorer
    Explorer
    Flattest route, I-5 south to I-84 east 197 and 97 south.
    Simply time your travels thru Seattle.
    2000 Newmar mountain aire 4081 DP, ISC/350 Allison 6 speed, Wrangler JL toad.

    romore
    Explorer II
    Explorer II
    Grades are pretty much unavoidable in the PNW. I would take 2 to Leavenworth then south, anything to avoid Seattle and Portland.

    rhagfo
    Explorer III
    Explorer III
    enblethen wrote:
    Yes, all routes go through Seattle.
    Highway 2 is an option but would be over several passes, US 2 Stevens and US 97 Blewett and Satus.
    Not sure if it would be worth it.


    I drove daily in that nightmare of greater Puget Sound traffic for 14 years for work both commuting and travel between store locations. That was 22 years ago, and I know it has not gotten any better!!

    Both of the routes I posted are beautiful drives, not FAST, but Beautiful! I took my DW on a weekend to Orcas Island, I chose the Olympia to Port Townsend to Whitby Island route, NO STRESS!
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    paulj
    Explorer II
    Explorer II
    WSDOT has various resources for planning travel through the state, especially the Seattle metro.

    travel times - best and current

    http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/seattle/default.aspx

    enblethen
    Nomad
    Nomad
    Yes, all routes go through Seattle.
    Highway 2 is an option but would be over several passes, US 2 Stevens and US 97 Blewett and Satus.
    Not sure if it would be worth it.

    Bud
    USAF Retired
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    2003 Chev Ice Road Tracker